BOSTON (CBS) — A lot of people have had a whole lot to say (or yell) about Kyrie Irving’s plans this offseason. Stephen A. Smith has been one of them, saying a few weeks ago that there was a 95 percent chance that Irving would sign with the New York Knicks after he opts out of his deal with the Boston Celtics.
The NBA offseason isn’t even officially here yet, but the Irving saga has taken many twists and turns. Heck, there were even rumors that he was ready to join up with LeBron James again and sign with the Lakers. It’s gotten that silly.
But Smith has now joined in on the fickleness of the situation. Though he’s always had Irving and Kevin Durant going to the Knicks as a packaged deal, that is now falling apart. Smith said Tuesday that he’s now hearing that Irving is now going to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, which could drastically change the rest of the NBA offseason.
“Over the last several hours, I have learned that Kyrie Irving has given every indication to the Brooklyn Nets that that is where he wants to go, not the New York Knicks,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take, adding that he has not spoken to Irving or Durant on the matter. “If indeed it is true — and we don’t know that because we still got 30 days — if he decides to go to Brooklyn, [Durant] ain’t interested in going to Brooklyn. And as a result, the belief is that KD will either go to New York without him, convince him to come to New York, or settle for somebody like a Kemba Walker. Or KD may decide to stay in Golden State.”
Smith is certainly using all of that five percent cushion he afforded himself earlier. But if you believe him, Irving is heading to Brooklyn, and Durant is… well no one knows what Durant is going to do.
But it’s sounding more and more like the Celtics are going to lose Irving this offseason, with Boston barely mentioned in any rumors surrounding the soon-to-be free agent. Irving signing with the Nets would be pretty fitting though, given Danny Ainge sent some of the assets he acquired in his 2013 robbery from the Nets to acquire Irving from Cleveland two summers ago.
Irving can officially opt out of the final year of his contract with the Celtics at the end of the month, with NBA free agency beginning on June 30 at 6 p.m.